has come and gone, with a slew of product announcements, from a brand new and , to a . But the star of Amazon’s smart home is, as always, Alexa. Amazon’s voice assistant continues to expand its reach, connecting with over 140,000 smart home devices, and boasting more than 100 million Alexa-compatible devices installed across its user base. But Alexa’s power isn’t just in its and .
When I spoke to Daniel Rausch, Amazon’s vice president of smart home and Alexa mobile, before the hardware event, he said Alexa is becoming more independent too. Alexa will soon be able to act onwithout asking, to listen for and react to sounds other than a wake word, and to protect your home more actively with an .
All this will lead to what Rausch called “the ambient home,” in which Alexa is “ready to respond [to voice commands], but is more predictive and proactive.”
Here are the biggest upgrades coming to Alexa.
Alexa Guard Plus
Amazon has rolled out and expandedover the past couple of years to allow you to monitor your home while you’re away. While it’s activated, Guard will listen for glass breaking, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and footsteps and other signs of a break-in, and will send you a mobile alert.
The company is now offering something called, a subscription service that runs $4.99 per month, and it adds a few features on top